Colony came back when Charlene had fallen asleep again, and he woke her by tapping his fingers against the mechanical arm.
"Mornin', sunshine!" He grinned down at her. "How you feeling?"
She stirred slightly, tossing her head to the side on the lumpy pillow. "Like my arm was ripped out of its socket." Cinder said bluntly.
The doctor sighed. "You're so dramatic. I just wanted to tell you, since you know, you're bedridden and everything…"
"Today's the Rerun day," Colony said briskly. "But there won't be a party. Fesk and Tendon are going to have a long talk, and Jern and I will be performing countless surgeries. Oh, it will be so much fun."
"Beyond your own suffering, what does this have anything to do with me?" Cinder interrupted the doctor.
"Foolish niece of mine!" He laughed heartily, taking a seat in the chair again. "You're going to meet your would've-been-aunt and would've-been-grandfather. Isn't that exciting?"
She took a deep breath, pain riveting from the metal plate. The long bandage Colony had awkwardly wrapped around the stump of her shoulder and the thick metal plate bled a little more from her gesture.
"As exciting as having my arm chopped off…"
Colony rolled his eyes at her. "Stop that, will you? There's someone who wants to see you as well, just in case you'd like to know what concerned you, you selfish little girl—pfft, just like your father." The doctor rambled on to himself, getting up from the chair. "Come on in, Remone!"
"Ah, Miss Cinder." Remone's cheerful voice rang out loudly in the dank space of Colony's division. Well, as the doctor had described to her earlier, this was just one of the nine rooms in his division.
The sun in her eyes when Colony had woken her up—the sun was sinking below the railing as Remone entered.
As the tall man approached her, she could see that he had a black eye and several cuts on his cheek and temples.
"Remone, are you alright?" She asked.
"I could ask you the same," He laughed heartily. "How are you feeling?"
It was incredible that he was still so happy and unaffected. She envied him for that, but good for him.
"Like my arm was ripped out. Is it true that…?" Cinder stopped, flushing at the insensitive question. Even if that was Charlene's personality, she could be better than that.
She was better than that.
Remone took a seat in Colony's chair.
"True that…?" He continued, looking at her expecting a finishing word.
She flushed a little worse. "Um, never mind."
"Miss Cinder," Remone said. "Please finish your sentence. You've nothing to lose."
"True that you have prosthetics too?" She blurted out. Her left hand clamped over her mouth instinctively—the right hand lay useless by her side. Over these past couple of hours since Thomas had actually brought and adjusted her arm, she had only managed to move the thumb no more than a centimeter.
Remone studied her expression for a long time before smiling in a way that made her heart wrench for Captain Sketch.
"Yes, it is." He said, rolling up his pant leg.
His leg was complete machinery—the shiny metal plates protecting the outside of Remone's leg caught the glint of sunlight unlike her own dull arm had done.
"That's not all," Remone interrupted easily, rolling up his other pant leg. "Both of my legs below the knee are prosthetic."
And he wasn't kidding.
Her complaining about one arm—and here Remone was, without either leg. And for several years now.
He laughed. "You stare as if you've never seen a prosthetic before, but here you are with your own hunk of junk arm."
"I suppose I should be offended," Cinder replied. "But I hate it already and I've only had it for a few hours. How did you…?"
"Get both my legs separated from the rest of me? I was diving through a shipwreck with my division a few years ago, when some large fish upset the balance of the ship and it rocked slightly. A door slammed on both of my legs below the knee, and I couldn't get free. Nor could I yell, you understand.
By the time one of my division mates had come looking for me, I was already unconscious and on the verge of drowning. He couldn't get me out, so he pried up a big rusted knife somewhere from the wreck and cut my legs off."
Cinder winced—the pain was almost physical to her as he described it. It was a good thing the man was unconscious when it happened. That sounded horrible.
"I couldn't feel anything until I got back to Colony, where he had to cut away the bone that had splintered too badly, and he and another Captain that had Thomas's role at the time replaced my knees with a metal plate. And from there—well, I learned how to walk again. I got so fast at one point that I became a much faster swimmer and runner without tiring easily." Remone paused to let out a sigh. "Though if I had the chance, I would be much happier with my normal legs than these. I could step on sharp broken glass and keep running without feeling anything. And when you get prosthetics, you have to wear one of these," He said, fishing a dog tag necklace from around his neck. On it was a symbol that reminded her of a dragon.
"It tells any Commander that we have a fake limb. Colony will give you one when you eventually get used to having your arm that you're able to move it completely."
Cinder swallowed the lump that had swelled in her throat—no wonder now that Amy had looked so upset. After having to deal with Remone getting both of his leg prosthetics, and then her—the poor girl.
"Does Amy have prosthetics?" She asked thickly as the tears welled up again. They just wouldn't go away today.
Remone shook his head.
"And I'm glad—it's hard enough seeing me without any legs, I couldn't imagine Amy—no less you, Miss Cinder, with a fake limb. It's going to be difficult, learning how to cope with it, but you'll get it."
He patted her fake shoulder reassuringly, though she could only feel it a little bit.
That made her cry even worse.
"Oh…Miss Cinder…I'm sorry," Remone stammered, clearly taken aback by her crying. "I didn't mean to make you cry!"
Through her tears, the expression on Remone's face was so funny, she couldn't help but to sob and laugh at the same time.
And at this point, it didn't really matter.
"I'm not crying," Cinder finally said, wiping her eyes with her left hand. "I'm laughing and crying."
"Claughing?" Remone suggested, and broke out into a grin.